by Max Brantley
Ellen Louise Fant was no fan of the Affordable Care Act.The article examines the Arkansas model of Obamacare and its opponents in some depth. But it gets quickly to the bottom line of the fiscal session that begins today:
“I don’t like to have anything shoved down my throat,” said Fant, 60, referring to the law’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance.
Ellen Louise Fant, 60, of Alexander, Ark., signed up for Medicaid in January under the state’s private option
Then last fall, the former teacher’s aide got a letter from the state of Arkansas telling her that since she gets food stamps, she qualified for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, which is being expanded under the health law to cover those who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or up to $15,900 for an individual.
She signed a form, got back an insurance card Jan. 10 and days later, underwent the knee replacement surgery that she had needed for years but couldn’t afford.
For Fant, the private option model means “peace of mind” because she can get the same care as those with higher incomes.
“While I personally do not like Obama … I say, ‘thank you for doing this for me,’” she said, showing her insurance card from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arkansas.
When told the legislature could end her newfound coverage July 1, her jaw dropped. “That would be very upsetting,” she said. “At least I had my knee done.”